Monday, January 20, 2014

summer berry jam

We're in the height of summer here in Sydney with very hot days. That means berries have made their way into my local fruit shop. Now summer berries like raspberries and blackberries are never cheap in Sydney but when a punnet costs less than the GDP of a small African nation, I'll buy a few.

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I have no idea why, but I suddenly decided it was time to make some jamI think it has something to do with me now owning a digital thermometer which has made me brave. I like making jam but I do tend to over cook it terribly. I remember the time I made plum jam which was closer to plum toffee by the time it was bottled. It was completely inedible and I had to throw it out. 

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When I looked through my freezer I found a few packets of frozen berries lurking so I made this jam using fresh blackberries and raspberries combined with frozen, defrosted blueberries and raspberries. I used this recipe but halved the quantities, added a vanilla pod and slightly modified the technique. It made a lovely runny, flavoursome jam which I served with some freshly baked scones.

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Here's the recipe for you. It made two 400 mls pots of jam.

Summer Berry Jam
2 cups white sugar
1 lemon
375g strawberries, washed, dried, hulled and quartered if large
100g blackberries, washed, dried
1 vanilla pod
100g raspberries, washed, dried
100g blueberries, washed, dried

To sterilize jars, wash in hot soapy water and rinse. Place the jars and lids in a deep saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring water to the boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium and boil for 10 minutes. Line a baking tray with paper towel. Remove the jars using metal tongs and allow to air dry or dry with a clean paper towel.

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place the sugar on an oven tray and warm the sugar for 15 minutes. Meanwhile place a saucer in the freezer to test the jam’s setting point.

Juice the lemon and reserve the seeds. Place the seeds in a small piece of muslin and tie with kitchen string to secure. Combine the strawberries, blackberries, lemon juice, lemon seeds, the vanilla pod and sugar in a shallow saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil stirring occasionally for 20 minutes or until jam is reduced by one-quarter.

Remove the lemon seeds and vanilla pod from the jam then add the raspberries and blueberries. Cook, stirring occasionally for a further 5 minutes or until jam has reached it’s setting point (105°C). To check when jam is set, remove the jam from the heat and place a spoonful of hot jam onto the chilled saucer. Return to the freezer for 1 minute. Run your finger through the jam to test if it wrinkles and jells. If it doesn't, return to the heat for a further 5 minutes then repeat the test.

Take the jam from the heat and allow to cool for a minute or 2 before spooning the hot jam evenly among the sterilized jars. Seal immediately then turn the jars upside down for 2 minutes before turning upright. Set the jam aside to cool completely before labelling and dating. 

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It's Australia Day next weekend and I'll be on pavlova duty. I'm making a pavlova to take with me to dinner so if I get a chance I'll take a few snaps to share with you.

See you all again next week,

Jillian 

2 comments:

  1. That looks so delicious.
    But we have winter here. I am a bit jelous.
    Summer is better than winter.
    So enjoy it.
    Greetings
    Evelyn

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    Replies
    1. Hi Evelyn,

      summer is my favourite season as well as I love all the summer fruit. Pears, apples and oranges just don't do it for me at all.

      Keep warm,

      J

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